SKDC proposes council tax rise and asks for your views
A hike in the district council’s element of the council tax is on the horizon.
South Kesteven District Council is consulting on an increase in its precept for 2017/18.
It comes as the local authority has been given permission by central government to increase its share of the council tax by £5 a year for a Band D property – a move that would generate an extra £231,000 per year for the council.
Council leader councillor Bob Adams said: “Before making this decision, we want to hear from the local community. We know every penny counts, and are mindful of the impact an increase in council tax will have.
“However, as over 66 per cent of our residents live in lower banded properties, the approximate increase would only be seven pence a week.
“Over the last five years we have experienced a 45 per cent reduction in funding from central government and by 2019 we will need to be entirely self-sufficient. Despite this, we’ve successfully maintained frontline services.”
There could be further rises to council tax to come, as Lincolnshire County Council and Lincolnshire Police – which set the remaining two precepts that make up council tax – have yet to reveal their plans.
Police and crime commissioner Marc Jones has already said that, with Government funding currently dropping by two per cent a year, even if the commissioner increases his council tax by the maximum two per cent, it still leaves a hole in the budget of around £4.4 million next year rising to £6 million by 2019.
Meanwhile, the county council is looking to increase its share of council tax by 3.95 per cent. The council’s executive is expected to make its final budget proposals at a meeting on February 7.
SKDC is inviting people to share their views online at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/counciltax2017-18
The survey closes on Sunday, February 19, 2017. A decision on council tax levels for 2017/18 will be made in March.
Coun Terl Bryant, executive member for finance and IT, said: “SKDC continues to work hard to create an environment that is business and customer focused and we currently have one of the lowest council tax levels in the country. While we’ve been given permission by the Government to increase our element of council tax by £5 a year per Band D property, we would like to hear the views of local people.”
n Are happy to pay more? Email smeditor@stamford mercury.co.uk